They claimed the chances of the Scottish Sun going online this year were about as high as their company being taken over by a millionaire businessman.
All of which makes the new all singing, all dancing new Scottish Sun website all the more interesting.
The Daily Record has had pretty much a clear run at the platform for years, but failed miserably to exploit its full potential.
Recently it began to look at it seriously – but has it been too late?
Clearly the new Scottish Sun website is a work in progress and a way to go yet.
But supported by the huge resources and ad staff in London, as well as its own team in Scotland, it may be that David Dinsmore’s paper can outflank the indigenous Record online as it has done in print.
Worrying times you would think for all at Central Quay.
However Mark Hollinshead, MD of Trinity’s Scottish Nationals and now on the Executive Committee, has shown an impressive commitment to attempting the bold and the new.
Some may, rightly or wrongly, accuse him of presiding over decline in his tenure.
But in fairness, the whole industry has been nose-diving.
He, at least, has tried to develop brave new ideas through the launch of free-sheets in PM and Business 7, and by embracing digital editions.
The Scottish Sun’s new arrival online isn’t unexpected.
But key to its success might not lie in Queen Street, but what move Hollinshead makes next in preserving what could prove to be the Daily Record’s chance at repulsing attempts to steal its crown forever.
Unless of course a foreign businessman really is on the horizon to save the day.